Let’s travel to Asturias located in Northern Spain where we can find the ultimate meat lover’s dream—Cachopo Asturiano. The Asturian diet comprises itself of hearty meals that warms you to the core during the winter months. Not only is cachopo a typical comfort food but it can be elevated to a gastronomical masterpiece by incorporating various cheeses. Come join us on this journey as we explore the savory dish of cachopos.
What is Cachopo? Unraveling the Asturian Culinary Mystery
Asturian Cachopo consists of cheese and ham sandwiched between two very thin steaks of veal or beef that is then breaded and deep-fried until golden and crispy. This dish is typically served with a side of fries. The most traditional cachopo recipe includes Cabrales cheese which is also native to the region of Asturias. This dish is a perfect example of the combination of rich flavors highlighted in Spanish cuisine and the use of local products such as cured Spanish hams and cheeses.
Cachopo Asturiano: Origins, Traditions, and Variations
To understand the origins of cachopo food you must first understand the region of Asturias. The region is very mountainous and historically boasted a coal-mining and steel-making economy. Thus, the gastronomy of choice was filling dishes so the workers could continue their labors in the mountains. The region is also lush with greenery making it a perfect location for cattle to graze which enhances the cheese making production. Nowadays, cachopo is enjoyed at bars or restaurants surrounded by friends and family enjoying each other’s company over a delicious meal.
Traditional Cachopo: The Robust Flavours of Cabrales Cheese
Cachopo original incorporates Cabrales cheese as it is bursting with robust flavours that compliment either beef or veal. The intense flavor and spicy notes compare well when paired with a beef cachopo as the flavours elevate the dish to a unique experience.
Here we will share our favorite recipe to make beef or veal cachopo.
- 2 veal or beef steaks depending on which meat you prefer
- 2 slices of Spanish cured ham like Serrano ham or York ham
- Cabrales cheese
- Enough flour to coat the meat
- 1 large egg
- Potatoes (extra)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- First, you will need to pound the veal or beef steaks until they are extremely thin but not too thin where the meat tears.
- Assemble the cachopo by placing one steak at the base and layering it with the ham and cheese which is then sandwiched by the last steak.
- Press the edges of the two steaks to create a seal.
- Coat the cachopo in flour to cover the entire surface.
- Dip the floured cachopo into the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs.
- Place the cachopo in a frying pan and fry until the cachopo is golden brown.
- As an extra step you can also fry some potatoes to add as a side dish.
- Serve with a nice refreshing drink of Sidra Asturiana and it’s like you’ve escaped to the green pastures of the Asturias region!
If you want to add an extra crunchy bite, you can take some quicos, crunchy corn kernels, and crush them into the breading mixture. This way your cachopo has a crunchy outer bite and finishes with the creamy texture of melted cheese.
A Smokey Twist: Cachopo with York Ham (Cooked Ham) or Serrano Ham and Idiazabal Cheese
Traditional Spanish dishes would not be fun to enjoy if you couldn’t experiment a little in the kitchen! That is what makes cachopo so versatile and a gastronomical lovers delight. You don’t always need to use the same cheese. You can play around with the different flavors and notes that certain cheeses add to a dish.
If you are not a fan of the daring and robust Cabrales cheese then maybe you may like a smokier cheese to compliment your cachopo experience. The Dealiart Idiazabal cheese adds a scrumptious smoky touch to the cachopo that elevates the ham and steak flavors. The smokey notes of the cheese pairs well with the meat as it reminds us of a slight barbeque the way the smoky flavor melts seamlessly with the meat.
Flavorful Innovation: Cachopo with York Ham (Cooked Ham) or Serrano Ham and Manchego Cheese
A tried-and-true cheese of the Mediterranean diet is Manchego cheese. This crowd pleaser is sure to win the hearts of anyone whether it is considered fresco or viejo based on the aging process. Manchego’s buttery texture and complex flavours boost a flavorful innovation full of intricate subtleties that enhance the ham. Pair it with traditional Serrano ham or cooked ham and your cachopo will be bursting with personality and flavour at every forkful.
Plus, Manchego cheese is a traditional Spanish cheese that melts so effortlessly when heated. It provides a nice gooey center between two velvety textured fillets. The combination of textures in this dish complements each other well and make it an enjoyable experience.
Creamy Indulgence: Cachopo with York Ham (Cooked Ham) or Cured Ham and Murcia al Vino Cheese
If you want to discover another Spanish cheese other than Manchego we recommend incorporating Deliart Murcia al Vino cheese into your cachopo. It provides an undeniable creaminess to the cachopo that plays with the firm and velvety texture of the meat. The sweet surprise of this cheese is the hint of wine in the underlying taste as the cheese is soaked in wine during the aging process. This semi-soft cheese is light and delivers a creamy indulgence that balances out the notes of the different meats.
Wrapping Up: The Cheesy Delight of Cachopo Recipes
As you can see, there are many ways of recreating the traditional Asturian cachopo by experimenting with different cheeses to achieve your desired taste and experience. The important aspect of this dish is its ability to showcase the abundant flavours of the Asturian region with such a rich and savory culinary heritage. The combination of familiar ingredients allows this dish to be a staple in many homes and restaurants as it is a hearty meal but also a comfort meal. We hope you bring your appetite as this dish is sure to satisfy everyone seeking to taste what the Asturian region has to offer.